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When I first drew a picture of a Cup Noodle container, I thought of depicting the psychological control of Japan that had been carried out by foreign countries. China influenced Japan’s culture and politics through the Edo period (1600-1868), and lately it has been the USA with its strong influence over Japan since the mid-19th century.

My intention was to draw ramen (originally from China) by adopting American Pop-Art techniques. The Cup Noodle container seemed the right choice, because its package design has Chinese and Japanese characters, and the English alphabet.

It seems easy for viewers to comprehend my Cup Noodle paintings as something similar to Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans. Despite the similarity of soupy subject matter, there are also some differences. Whereas Warhol made Campbell’s mass-consumption soup cans into pieces of art and introduced mass-produced silkscreen printing techniques on canvas, I draw Cup Noodle paintings with elaborate brush strokes, using Japanese-style painting techniques. Therefore, my works are each one-of-a-kind originals. (Warhol also painted, but primarily made silk-screen editions). The Cup Noodle series also can be interpreted as “neo-still lifes.”

                                      Translation by Eiko Aoki